High school basketball teams that knocked Floyd County’s Buffaloes and Lady Buffs out of the regional tournaments made it to the state finals at Richmond’s Seigel Center Saturday night but only one emerged with a championship.
Dan River disposed of Bruton 84-58 in the boys’ final while Gate City, who defeated the Lady Buffs in a nail-biter with a last-second basket in the regional semi-finals. lost 47-38 to Central-Wise, the team Floyd County beat last year to take the state championship.
Turnovers, which helped the Gate City Blue Devils beat the Lady Buffs, played a reverse role in the state championship as Central-Wise’s Warriors held on to the ball and turned it over only five times.
Last year, the Lady Buffs knocked off Gate City in the state quarter-finals and Central-Wise in the final. This year, the championship came down to a final game between last year’s state tournament losers to the Lady Buffs.
On the boys’ side, Dan River struggled in the first quarter and trailed Bruton but came alive in the second, outscoring their opponents 44-19 and went into the fourth with enough of a cushion to ride out a comeback attempt.
In the end, the girls’ state tournaments provided exciting finishes for fans of schools who were left disappointed last year when Floyd triumphed in the Lady Buffs march to the championship. On the boys’ side, the state title went to the team that had to get past the Buffaloes to make it to Richmond.
Congratulations to Central-Wise and Dan River. See you next year.